Wednesday, June 17, 2015

QFC Grocery Basket 6/17

Don Juan, the climbing rose, was getting all leggy and blooms were hanging every which way because he had ran out of trellis, so I decided to neaten him up.  In the process I ended up with a lovely smelly bouquet and Don looks a lot better.  He really responds to being chopped down in February.

As you can tell I don't water the grass which makes it kind of hard to drive the croquet hoops into the ground but here is my garden so far.  I had four crops of radishes and several heads of lettuce before it got too hot.  I've heavily seeded the wheel barrow and the chair pot with nasturtium seeds with some sweet peas thrown in for good measure this year instead of food plants.

The deck with the strawberry tower and raspberries in the background.

I started my begonias from little Costco bulbs but they have been having a hard time keeping up with the lobelia on steroids.  I planted four bulbs in this pot and the hanging pot but everyday I have to go out and move the lobelia out of the way.  I've NEVER had this problem with lobelia.

This is a miniature rose that Miss Pamela gave me a few years ago at our annual ladies' birthday party.  I love this rose!! but this year it has been attacked by spit bugs which are really called spittle bugs if we are being polite.  I'm organic so I don't use any type of poison except Sluggo which is not supposed to hurt pets, bees, or birds so I gave it a good hard spray of water and practically blew the poor thing out of its pot.  It has recovered and is now starting to bloom and I haven't seen any spit bugs since.  Knock on wood.

This year I bought an extra large potato bag from instead of planting them in my limited garden space.  Here they are.  There ended up being about 100 pounds of Short's Magic Soil by the time I filled it up.  They are blooming now so when they start to yellow I'll dig around in there and see what I get.

My deck plants don't seem very imaginative this year but I was on a budget.  As it turns out that is a good thing because Poppy, the Boston Terror, flies off the deck in a mad rage to go fence fight the neighbors pit bull and shockingly knocks my pots off the deck - usually upside down.  The dog only weighs 15 pounds!!

The bird bath has been very popular with the birds this year - more than normal.  Maybe it is because the lemon balm is growing around it making it more private.  I've yet to see any frogs in there but they are all over the place this year...little green guys with big croaks.

Okay - let's look at the ad for this week.  On Monday I bought a piece of Copper River Sockeye and it was delicious but, anyway, I was talking to the fish lady and she said it was going to be on the ad again this week.  She was worried because the fish guys only gave her 50 pounds and said that there may not be any for this week, so check your fish counter before you put it on your menu.

Also - for families with teenage cereal eaters (and I know from experience that they can eat a box at a sitting) you can buy four General Mills cereals for $8 and get a free gallon of QFC milk.  And QFC is still running their Buy 5/Save $5 promo so check that out, too.

Here are my suggestions for "real food" this week:

QFC Butter - $2.49/lb
Alaska Sockeye Salmon Fillets - $7.97/lb
Fresh Pacific Cod Fillets - $7.99/lb
Draper Valley Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts - BOGO
Lean Ground Beef - $5.99/lb
Ribeye Steaks - $7.88/lb
Asparagus - $2.49/lb
Driscoll's Strawberries - $2/lb
Greens - $1.50/bunch
Oregon Blueberries - $3.50/18oz
Tomatoes on the Vine - $1.49/lb
Romaine, Butter, Red, or Green Leaf Lettuce - $1.50/ea
Washington Large Red Cherries - $2.99/lb
Yellow Peaches or Nectarines - $1.99/lb

A couple of weeks ago I took advantage of the sale on Roma tomatoes for $ .99 a pound.  Well, I bought more than I could eat so five of them were getting a little long in the tooth.  I cut them in half and put them on a pan with a rack cut side up.  I seasoned them liberally with salt and pepper and a drop of olive oil and roasted them for a couple of hours at 325.  They came out all flattened and yummy.  My idea was to use them on my salads but I added a couple to my sandwich and it took it to a higher level of yumminess.

Now you know that Miss MoneyPenny has been single for 20 years and I think I know what part of the problem is:

This is a shot of nighttime in the MoneyPenny bedroom.  On the left is Suzy, in the middle is Pici, and then the cat.  I don't know why they insist on sleeping crosswise on the bed but I've gotten real good at sleeping on my little sliver of bed.  And, of course, the Boston Terror is wrapped up way down deep in her king sized blanket to the left of Suzy.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

QFC Grocery Basket 6/10

I mentioned last time that Miss Jeannie has been in of all places, Turkey.  The guy on the news the other night said that after the recent elections that Turkey is a dangerous place, so I hope they have moved on to London by now.  I love this picture especially since I just noticed that the big humpy guy is still tied up.

My garden is finally in!!  I still have at least two pots to fill with flowers and I need to get my basil going in the green house.

Now the watering begins.  I water my front and side flower beds once a week for one hour so that means five moves of the sprinkler and then I attach to the flat granny hose sprinkler that I have laid out in my new bed.  Really it is just a border between me and the wild and crazy guy next door who has wild and crazy parties and they all park on my yard.  Anyway it consists of three barberries and two red twigged maples which need a lot of watering the first couple of years to get them established.

I have to confess that I fell asleep in my chair after lunch yesterday and one of the beds got watered for two hours.  Ka ching!!  Bring on the water bill!!

Okay - let's look at the ad for this week.  Yahootie!!  Fresh Copper River Sockeye Salmon fillets are on sale for $9.99 a pound.  Weather permitting, of course.  My favorite way to cook salmon is to roast it at 400 for about 20 minutes, or until just barely done.  I put little blobs of butter all over it and give it a good covering of lemon pepper and it is to die for.  And cold leftover salmon is delish in a green salad with a lemony dressing.

Also QFC is running their Buy 5/Save $5 promo and there are some good deals to be had.  Remember you don't have to buy five items of the same thing.  You can mix and match to your little heart's content.

Here are my suggestions:

Nancy's Yogurt - $2.50/qt
Draper Valley Whole Chickens - $1.29/lb
Fresh Copper River Sockeye Salmon fillets - $9.99/lb
Fresh NW Cooked Shrimp Meat - $5.99/lb
Fresh Dover Sole Fillets - $6.99/lb
Nathan's Beef Franks - $2.99/14oz
Driscoll's Strawberries - $2/lb
Medium Hass Avocados - $ .99/ea\
Red or Green Seedless Grapes - $1.68/lb
Colored Bell Peppers - $1.25/ea
English Cucumber - $1.25/ea
Whole Pineapple - $3/ea
Yellow Peaches or Nectarines - $1.99/lb
Zucchini or Yellow Squash - $1.29/lb

You can tell it is summer when Poppy, the Boston Terror, is out sunning herself in her very own deck chair.  And it is her very own chair.  This crappy chair is around 30 years old and not safe for any human butt but she is light enough that she doesn't fall through.  I keep intending to get rid of it but, yet, here it is again this summer - complete with her very own cushion.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

QFC Grocery Basket 6/3

Now you know that Miss MoneyPenny is not a world traveller.  I'm a real homebody except for a few forays down to Oregon or fun day trips.  I also love to go RVing and used to go all the time with my favorite ex husband but none of the current men in my life have an RV.  But my dear friend Miss Jeannie loves to get on airplanes and go all over the world.

At lunch one day, she announced that she and her cute husband, Dan, were headed to Turkey to visit his daughter who is in the Air Force.  OMG!!  I asked her if she couldn't go someplace a little further away from all that violence over Paris or Venice.  But she is a dare devil and went anyway.  The above picture was taken from her hotel in Ankara, which is the capital of Turkey, and the place looks just beautiful.  She says the only scary thing there is that pedestrians do not have the right of way and you have to be a fast runner, which she is.  I will be glad to see her safely back home.

Okay - let's look at the ad for this week.  Copper River salmon is at QFC (weather permitting) and it is going for $8.99 a pound.  Sounds wonderful, doesn't it??  The only drawback, and for me it is a biggie, the damned fish is whole which means that somebody has to cut it up.  I'm terrible at this because my favorite ex husband always did this and he did it with an electric knife with absolutely no waste.  He was a master at this and could even fillet fish after a half rack of beer with no problem.

Here are my suggestions for this week:

Tully's Coffee - $5.99/12oz
Best Foods Mayonnaise - $3.49/30oz
McCormick Grill Mates Seasoning - $1.50/ea
Fage Greek Yogurt - $3/17.6oz
Kroger Sour Cream - $1/16oz
Draper Valley Chicken Breasts - BOGO
Laura's Lean Ground Beef - $5.99/lb
Whole Fresh Wild Copper River Salmon - $8.99/lb
Asparagus - $1.99/lb
Mangoes - $1/ea
Red or Green Seedless Grapes - $1.99/lb
Washington Red Cherries - $2.99/lb

This picture is a big pot of dwarfish sweet peas.  I saw these in Territorial Seed's spring catalog and just had to try them.  My plan is that they will be a big pot of lovely smelling wonderfulness on my deck.  I was a little worried because they took forever to sprout but here they are...finally!!

This is what the pack looks like and supposedly they are for pots and don't need a trellis.  I'll keep you posted on this.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

QFC Grocery Basket 5/27

Now readers of Miss MoneyPenny know that her partner in crime for the last 30 years is Miss MaggieMae.  Usually after we finish up with the craziness that is Costco we head on down the road to Starbucks.  While we were there last Saturday we viewed Miss MaggieMae's granddaughter Miss  Sage's first art show.  Miss Sage is nine years old and she is a smart cookie.  She talked the manager of Starbucks into letting her hang her art with half the proceeds going to charity.  See what I mean??

I apologize for the quality of these photos but I took them with my phone while my butt was in the middle of a table of six very nice people.  When I explained what I was up to they got up and looked at Miss Sage's art.  They were very gracious.  The lady in the photo says her daughter goes to school with Miss Sage so she didn't mind being in the picture.

Half of the pictures had already sold.  It made me kind of misty when I read the cards next to the pictures with the title and each one of them said "by Sage".  This was my favorite but it had already sold or it would be hanging on my wall.  It is called Seattle:

Okay - let's look at the ad for this week.  The front page said that Copper River salmon is here but no price.  Hmm.  I think that we will be paying a premium for fresh fish from now on due to all the stuff the we hear about on the news.  Over fishing, global warming, El Nino, on and on.  At QFC the price of fresh halibut never went below $19.99 a pound.  Us fish lovers need to rethink our protein budget.

Here are my suggestions for the week and don't forget the digital coupons on the QFC site:

Seattle's Best Coffee - $4.99/12 oz
La Victoria Salsa - $2.50/16oz
Kroger Sour Cream - $1/16oz
QFC Milk - $ .99/1/2gal
Boneless Pork Top Loin Chops - BOGO
Ribeye Steak - $7.88/lb
Kroger Smoke Sausage - $2.50/14oz (great on BBQ)
QFC Large Eggs - $1.50/doz
Blueberries - $3.99/18oz
Asparagus - $2.49/lb
Avocados - $ .99/ea
Red or Green Seedless Grapes - $1.88/lb
Colored Bell Peppers - $1.25/ea
Sweet Vidalia Onions - $ .99/lb
Roma Tomatoes - $ .99/lb
Yellow or Zucchini Squash - $1.29/lb

This is my garden so far.  I was gonna cut back this year.  Famous last words.  I'm trying out a couple of things this year.  I'm growing my spuds in a big potato bag instead of the garden because they were taking over the place.  I decided to grow my summer squashes and cucumbers in the garden instead of the wheel barrow.  And I installed trellises in the hopes that I could get them to grow up instead of all over the yard, which they will probable do anyway.

So far I've been eating a lot of lettuce and radishes.  I also made a batch of rhubarb sauce and I'm starting to get a few ripe strawberries.  It will be a while for the blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries but they are all covered in berries.  Eating from the MoneyPenny plantation is truly the best way to eat organic food, get good exercise, and stretch that buck.  The strange flip flop tan is optional.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

QFC Grocery Basket 5/20

A couple of weeks ago I drove down to Seaside, Oregon and met up with my sister, Miss SmartyPants.  We had glorious weather for the four days that we were there as you can tell from this photo of the sunset from our balcony.  Actually, the first day it was 81 degrees!!  The only problem was a huge die-off of jellyfish so it was pretty miserable getting down to the water.  In fact, I think that I still have jellyfish gick on the bottoms of my flip flops.

One of our days we drove to McMinnville to see our very favorite Aunt Barbara.  She is the last of our older relatives but she is gonna be around for a long time.  She has always treated us like we were her kids even though she has four of her own.  When my mom had a long stay in the hospital she cared for my sister.  She took this on while in the middle of having a new baby and her own little toddler.  I can't imagine three kids in diapers.  Here she is (in yellow) with her best friend Bonnie:

I wanted to show you how gorgeous my dogwood is this year.  It would have been a better shot from the other way but I didn't think that you needed to see the neighbor's garbage pile.

Here is a closeup of the petals:

This beautiful old fashioned iris came from Miss Judith and it is everything that an iris should be.  One time I cut a bouquet of irises and put in a few stems of Don Juan the rose.  It was so over the top fragrant that I couldn't have it in the house with me.

This is my first batch of French Breakfast radishes.  I planted all my cool weather crops early this year and didn't get burned by cold weather.  I've also been eating lettuce and I made rhubarb/strawberry sauce from the Skidder rhubarb.  I used half the sugar and it was still plenty sweet.

I want to tell you about my new cool tool.  This thing is put out by Fiskar and they call it a planting tool.  The gals up at Hadlock Building Supply Garden Center assured me that it was the best thing since pizza for weeding.  So I put it up on the counter with my other stuff and went home to use it.  They were totally right!!  Best weeder ever!! but the second time I used it I broke it.  I knew it had a lifetime guarantee so I dug out my receipt and went back up to get another one.

Come to find out it wasn't listed on the receipt.  Everybody was embarrassed, including me.  I said well it looks like I stole this thing, then I broke it, and now I want another one but I will pay for one of them.  They gave me a new one that I have worked the devil out of and it is just fine.  They found that there was rust in the welding join, so it must have been a lemon.

Anyway - buy one of these.  It is under ten bucks and you can also use it for a weapon:

Did you have a good Mother's Day??  My son, the plumber, went out fishing and Miss PeggyRae and I went down to the Valley Tavern and had beer and hot dogs to rev ourselves up for some serious nursery hopping.  My Mother's Day card had a fifty in it which I promptly spent at the first nursery.  My receipt came to $48.79 which is cutting it pretty close.  Now that was a great Mother's Day!!

Okay - let's look at the ad for this week.  Will wonders never cease??  The ad is for one week only this time and they are heavy on Memorial Day weekend cookout stuff.  I was expecting to see wild fresh salmon this week but if they have it it didn't make the ad.

Here are my suggestions:

Peet's Coffee - $6.99/12oz
Hebrew National Beef Franks - $3.50/pack
Kroger Sour Cream - $1.25/16oz
Draper Valley Boneless Skinless Breasts - BOGO
Boneless Pork Top Loin Chops - $3.99/lb
Fresh Wild Halibut Fillets - $19.99/lb
Lean Ground Beef - $5.99/lb
Ribeye Steak - $7.88/lb
Driscoll's Strawberries - $3.99/2lb
Asparagus - $1.99/lb
Medium Hass Avocados - $ .99/ea
Tomatoes on the Vine - $1.49/lb
Colored Bell Peppers - $1.25/ea
Fresh Cut Tulips - $10/3 five stem bunches (15)

Every morning after all the critters have been watered, fed, and medicated I grab my coffee and sit in my chair and watch Charlie Rose on CBS.  All the animals join me except the Boston Terror.  She heads back to bed and doesn't get up until I make the bed or the UPS truck drives by - whichever comes first.  I don't know if she loves the driver or hates him but she barks her head off at him and his truck.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

QFC Grocery Basket 4/15

Have you paid your taxes yet??  I just wrote out the check and put it in the mail.  Now that I'm retired I take care of my own taxes instead of having my employer do it and I hate it!!  I know that it is apples and oranges but I didn't feel it so bad when it was done for me.  How juvenile is that??  Anyway, I have a spot in my monthly budget for taxes or else I would have to use savings and I really don't like to touch my savings.  Something else to think about when you are planning your retirement.

I know you hear this from me every year about this time but try to hold off buying those oh so tender plants that are showing up at the market.  Like you, I'm raring to plant my pots on the deck but with nighttime temps at freezing or below, they would quickly be wiped out.  The best I could hope for would be that they would sulk and never really reach their full potential.  And that would be a big waste of time and money.

If you have to have a pot right now, and I do, try a big blast of purple pansies.  They don't mind a little cold.  In fact they don't even care if it snows on them.  I've actually seen this.  But - as far as petunias and geraniums are concerned, unless you are really sheltered, wait until May when night temps are well above freezing.

Okay - let's look at the ad for this week.  First QFC is running their Buy 4/Save $4 promo so if there are any packaged items that you need be sure and check it out.  Also fillet of sole is on sale so think about cooking Miss Jeannie's recipe from last week.  You can't go wrong with any of her recipes and that is from my experience.

Here are my suggestions for this week:

Franz Organic Bread - $2.99/loaf
Simple Truth Organic Beans - $1/can
Kroger Cottage Cheese - $2.50/24oz
QFC Milk - $1.25/1/2gal
Boneless Chuck Roast - $3.99/lb
Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast - BOGO
Fresh NW Cooked Shrimp Meat - $5.99/lb
Fresh Wild Dover Fillet of Sole - $6.99/lb
Hormel Marinated Pork Tenderloins - BOGO
Laura's Lean Ground Beef - $5.99/lb
Anjou or Red Pears - $ .99/lb
Asparagus - $2.49/lb
Broccoli Crowns or Cauliflower - $ .99/lb
Driscoll's Strawberries - $2/lb
Eggplant - $1.50/ea
Organic Bunch Beets or Carrots - $2/bunch
Roma Tomatoes - $ .99/lb

If you have started up the grilling season at your house give the marinated pork tenderloins a try.  They also make good kabobs with peppers, onions, and pineapple chunks.  If I could eat shellfish I would be making myself a giant salad with that fresh shrimp meat.  I remember the days when I made Shrimp Louies complete with the dressing and hard cooked eggs.  To round out the meal I would cut French bread in half and slather with butter and Parmesan cheese and put it under the broiler.  Beat that for a tasty meal at a good price.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

QFC Grocery Basket 4/8

How was your Easter??  Wasn't it a gorgeous day??  Rarely do we get to hunt our Easter eggs in such nice weather.  This is Miss AslynGrace and she is taking pretend pictures with her pink camera.  I have a feeling that she is gonna be a good little photographer by the time she gets a real one.

You may wonder why we are all sitting out in the parking lot.  My son, the plumber, and his Uncle Jeff, pictured below, were putting together Miss AslynGrace's new playhouse and it was good entertainment.  This is going to be quite the house when they finally finish it.  It has the cutest kitchen and Aslyn was in there doing her cooking while they were working and cussing.  Now these are two talented guys, so it was funny listening to them get beat up by a play house.

If you had ham for Easter and you have any left, now is the time to do something with the leftovers or get them in the freezer.  We had barbecue because we are not fans of ham but I do miss that old ham bone because it makes a pot of navy beans taste yummy.  Talk about stretching a can't do better than a big pot of tasty beans and if you add a pan of cornbread, we are talking heaven here.

And speaking of heaven - Miss Jeannie rose to the challenge and sent her recipe for fillet of sole.  She says that it is an old Julia Child recipe and is very easy and delicious.  I'm gonna try it the next time fillet of sole comes on sale which is quite often.  Here it is:

I tried to make it bigger but the next step up was so big that it didn't fit on the page.  Basically what you do is salt and flour your sole and saute it in butter.  Keep it warm in the oven and melt more butter in the pan.  Add capers, parsley and lemon juice.  Serve over the sole with lemon slices and lots of pepper.  This has to be good.

Okay - let's look at the ad for this week.  In my opinion this is a crappy ad.  I call them as I see them.  Luckily my pantry and fridge are well stocked so we won't starve at the MoneyPenny house but this is definitely a good week for that pot of beans or split pea soup.

Here are the highlights:

Draper Valley Whole Chicken - $ .99/lb
Flank Steak - $6.99/lb
Anjou or Red Pears - $ .99/lb
English Cucumbers - $1.25/ea
Minneola Tangelos - $ .99/lb
Organic Kale - $1.50/bunch
Colored Bell Peppers - $1.25/ea
Zucchini or Yellow Squash - $1.29/lb

When I got home Sunday evening after the festivities I discovered that the Easter Bunny had left me a basket on the front porch.  My good buddy, Mr Daniel, has parents that grow a huge organic garden up Port Angeles way and they are good enough to share some of their seed potatoes with me.  Good timing because I just received my new giant potato grow bag.  On Monday I went over to Chimacum Corner Farmstand and bought a big bag of Short's Miracle Dirt.  Let the planting begin.

A week ago I cleaned out the strawberry bed and gave it a good jolt of new compost.  Yesterday I noticed that the plants are covered in white flowers and you know what that means!!  Yep - lots of strawberries gonna be happening.  I can't wait!!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

QFC Grocery Basket 4/1

I was able to get a snap of my wheel barrow daffodils before they faded.  Who knew that you could grow so much cool stuff in an old wheel barrow??  I put it out to pasture after it sent me to the ER.  The darned thing is actually too big for lady garden use.  My favorite ex husband bought this for me years ago and like everything else he bought it had to be heavy duty.  I'm actually still using one of the hoses that he bought in 1990.  It is so heavy that I can hardly carry it.

This is Lou in 2015.  Lou was my daughter-in-law's mother and she was a sweetheart of a lady.  After she passed Miss PeggyRae split up her giant shamrock and gave away pieces to people that cared about Lou.  I got this one and it is still in its original pot.  It goes crazy and blooms all spring and summer.  Come fall she gets leggy and sad looking so I give her a butch and let her winter in the guest room.  She always lets me know when she is ready for prime time.  I bring her out and give her a good jolt of food and away she goes.

I want to mention that Miss Jeannie sent me a text telling me that she has a killer recipe for fillet of sole after I posted the ad last week.  Okay, girl, let's see it.  I'll share when I hear from her.  Miss Jeannie and I were roomies for a year and I can vouch for her amazing cooking skills, so this should be good.

Are you getting ready for Easter??  Easter is one of my favorite holidays.  My mother always made a big deal out of Easter.  We would get a new outfit (handmade by her), go to church, have an Easter egg hunt, and she would cook a big ham dinner.  I carried on the tradition except for the outfit and church part.  Now the kids do it and they have a diabolical adult Easter egg hunt that really brings out the worst in us.  We don't drink before the hunt so you can see how serious we are.  None of us like ham so usually barbecue is on the menu.

If you are having ham be sure and get bone-in so that you can make navy bean or split pea soup afterwards.  Also be sure and get those eggs back in the fridge soon so they don't go bad on you before you can make deviled eggs.  I've never been sick from bad Easter eggs but I imagine that it can't be pleasant.

Okay, let's look at the ad for this week.  The first thing I notice is there aren't any big sales on eggs.  What is the deal with that??  Anyway - asparagus and strawberries are going for $1.88 per pound.  I like to make strawberry shortcake for Easter and I make actual shortcakes - none of those icky spongy things that taste like sweet mushy something.  You can make the shortcakes ahead so they aren't a hassle at the last minute.  My mom always buttered them first before adding the strawberries.  I know it sounds strange but it was delish.

Here are my suggestions:

Simple Truth Cage Free Eggs - $2.50/doz
Private Selection Spices - 33% off
Tillamook Cheese - $5.99/2lb
Hormel Cure 81 Spiral Slice Half Ham - $1.88/lb
Top Round Roast - $3.99/lb
Fresh Wild Alaska Cod Fillets - $7.99/lb
Asparagus - $1.88/lb
Celery - $ .99/lb
Driscoll's Strawberries - $1.88/lb
Green Beans - $1.99/lb
Green Onions or Radishes - $ .69/bunch
Large Navel Oranges - $ .99/lb
Organic Broccoli - $1.49/lb
Red Garnet or Jewel Yams - $ .99/lb
Whole Pineapple - $2.50/ea

My sister posted this on Facebook for growing viney things like squash and pumpkins since they take up a lot of space in raised beds.  I think that this is a great idea and I'm gonna try it.  When everything is done growing just shoot the whole thing into the compost.  Genius!!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

QFC Grocery Basket 3/25

When Miss MoneyPenny finally goes bankrupt and is drug off to debtor's prison it will be because of this old girl.  Remember how Miss MoneyPenny told you that the wild card in your budget is either your health or your pets??  I've been proving it to you for the last three years.

Two years ago I spent a tenth of my income on her vet bills and got pretty close last year, but what are you gonna do??  Pici is still a wonderful little girl as long as she gets her meds and an occasional steroid shot which isn't bad for a 15 year old schnauzer.  Yesterday morning I set her on the floor and she took off after the cat.  What could be better than that??

I've been doing a lot of planting in my veggie gardens.  We have had such a warm winter and spring that it is perfect for getting in the cool weather crops that love to bolt in the heat we have been having for the last few summers.  I remember, back in the day, when I grew lettuce all summer long.  So far I've got my lettuce, carrots, radishes (already coming up) and parsley in.  The beets are next for my pickled beets.

I noticed that the purple clematis hasn't shown its face yet.  Maybe I finally killed it, or I should say Poppy, the Boston Terror, when she was fence fighting the neighbor's pit bull.  Anyway I had a pack of sweet peas so I decided that they would look great on that trellis and smell wonderful along with the climbing Lucia rose and the lilac.

I haven't planted sweet peas since I lived in Portland.  We lived in a duplex that had a six foot fenced in small yard and patio.  I promptly dug up the little yard and planted it in veggies.  I cleaned up the sweet smelling old rose along the fence and planted sweet peas.  It smelled like heaven.  On hot summer nights I would get home from waiting tables and discover my favorite ex husband and his buddies sitting out there drinking beer and smoking dope.  They called it the arboretum.

Okay - let's look at the ad for this week.  Remember when we wrung our hands and gnashed our teeth at paying $16.99 a pound for fresh halibut last year??  Well, that was nothing!!  Get ready to pay $19.99 if you can't live without it this year.  Man, I never knew how lucky I was to have a husband who loved to fish.  Of course, there was the expense of the boat and all that beer.

Also, QFC is running their Buy 10/Save/$5 promo again so if there are any canned or packaged goods that you need check it out.

Here are my suggestions for this week:

Best Foods Mayonnaise - $2.99/30oz
Kroger Frozen Vegetables - $1/ea
QFC Large Eggs - $1.79/doz
Starbucks Coffee - $6.99/12oz
QFC Milk - $ .99/1;2gal
Boneless Chuck Roast - $3.99/lb
Fresh Wild Dover Sole - $6.99/lb
Fresh Wild Halibut - $19.99/lb
Pears - $ .99/lb
Driscoll's Strawberries - $2.50/lb
Fugi, Gala, Braeburn Apples - $ .99/lb
Large Navel Oranges - $ .99/lb
Tomatoes on the Vine - $1.99/lb
Colored Bell Peppers - $1.25/ea
English Cucumbers - $1.25/ea

Buy 10/Save $5 items:

Land O'Lakes Butter - $1.99/lb
Marie Callender/s Pot Pies - $1.78/ea
Del Monte Tomatoes - $ .69/ea
Barilla Pasta - $ 69/ea

The above picture is what I get up to every morning and sometimes, it is worse.  Poppy, the Boston Terror, drags everything out every night including her toys, cat bed, dog blanket, and always the couch blanket.  She usually ends the evening with herself all wrapped up in the couch blanket.  The KnowItAlls have a huge dog toy box and when she stays there she drags everyone of them out.  They left it one time so I could appreciate the mess when I picked her up.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

QFC Grocery Basket 2/25

Who are these people??  The man is Dr. Robert Lustig and the lady is Cindy Gershen.  You might remember that he wrote a huge bestseller about the dangers of added sugar in our diet and all the processed food that we now all consume.  Miss MoneyPenny went to school to become a dietitian but got waylaid by the library world but I'm still very interested in nutrition.  I read his book and thought that it made perfect sense but I just kept on with my bad habits.

Well, I caught him on PBS the other night and what he had to say hit me right between the eyes.  I KNOW all of this stuff but still choose to drink my coffee with a healthy dose of Coffee Mate every morning.  If I don't have Coffee Mate I don't drink coffee which means that I'm really just drinking my Coffee Mate every morning and this really gives my poor old system a real jolt.  This sets me up for the rest of the day and not in a good way.

What I'm leading up to here is that I'm going off the Coffee Mate again.  Anyone who knows me knows that this is really hard because it seems I've picked up a real addiction.  This whole dessert thing, and my coffee is really a dessert, has to be brought under control.  My plan is to partake of a yummy dessert once a week like he suggests, like I used to when I was slender, and make it a seriously decadent treat.

I'll keep you posted but in the meantime pick up his Fat Chance Cookbook because it goes over his ideas without all the footnotes and is easier to absorb.  And by the way, Cindy lost 100 pounds in six months just following his suggestions and has kept it off for 15 years.

Okay - let's look at the ad for this week.  The best deal this week is QFC butter at $1.99 a pound, so stock up because it freezes just fine.  I also want to mention that according to my Puget Sound Fresh chart nothing that is fresh and local is on sale at QFC this week.  What is up with that??  Anyway check out your local co-op and you will find it all and for a good price.

Here are my suggestions for "real food" this week:

Mission Flour Tortillas - $2/8ct
QFC Milk - $ .99/half gal
Kroger Frozen Vegetables - $1/10-12oz
Simple Truth Organic Canned Beans - $1/15oz
Herdez Salsa - $2/16oz
Kroger Cottage Cheese - $1.50/16oz
QFC Butter - $1.99/lb
Boneless Chuck Roast - $3.99/lb
Whole Chickens - $1.29/lb
Lean Ground Beef - $5.99/lb
Medium Avocados - $ .99/ea
Cara Cara Navel Oranges - $ .99/lb
Organic Fuji Apples - $1.99/lb
Tomatoes on the Vine - $1.99/lb
Colored Bell Peppers - $ .99/ea
Zucchini or Yellow Squash - $1.29/lb


Be on the lookout for your American Express bill.  Miss MaggieMae got her rebate check this month.  I still haven't seen mine.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Photo Dump 2/18

You can always tell when Miss MoneyPenny is done with winter when the Christmas wreath tops the garbage can.  Usually Mis KnowItAll comes over and jerks it off the door and gives me a disgusted look but I beat her to it this year.  I got my wreath from Costco last Christmas for $15 and it was a good deal.  That was a really fresh wreath.  Even though it looks a little bedraggled it still had not dropped any needles, so I will be back for another one this Christmas.

And because I'm done with winter I'm starting spring with a big pot of primroses by the front door.  I got these at QFC on Saturday for $1 each and they are very healthy.  You notice that on the side of the pot there is a little viola from somewhere.  Remember that slugs and snails are thrilled with primroses, so hit them with the Sluggo.  In fact I will be doing the whole perimeter of the house again in my effort to battle them.  This actually works pretty well.

This brunnera called "Jack Frost" started coming up about two weeks ago and is now sporting his pretty blue flowers.  This plant just thrills me and I'm gonna see if I can't find a couple more.  This guy only wants good dirt, a little water and sunshine and he is good to go.  I cut him down to the ground when he dies off in the late fall.  That's it!!

Don't you just love crocus??  They are always the first bulb to show up in my flower bed.  I've got patches of them all over the place and can't even remember the last time I planted any.

And speaking of crocus - here is the single giant crocus coming up in one of my raised vegetable beds again this year.  The raised beds must be a lot more fertile that the flower beds judging by the size of him.

I noticed that the flowering plums in my neighborhood all have a blush to them.  On closer inspection it looks like they are getting ready to do their thing and be all beautiful.  I don't know why and it breaks my heart but it seems like every year when they are all budded out and gorgeous we get a big giant wind storm and the ground looks like it is covered in pink snow.

Even though I was wearing gloves I still got this nasty blister.  What a bad spot.  Now that it is healing it is itching me crazy.

This is my beloved Italian garlic looking all green.  I planted double what I did the year before and selected large cloves so I should have a wonderful crop this summer.

I planted these daffodils in the zucchini barrel years ago and they keep coming up every spring.  They are just about to burst out into beautiful yellow flowers.

Who knew that African Violets bloom pretty much all year??  These are ready for bigger pots again.  When I water them I set them in a pan of warm water and let them soak all day with a little Miracle Gro added.  My grandma told me that they like north light and hate to be moved.  Okay.  So I follow her advice.

Here is my big fat check from Ebates.  I don't do a lot of shopping any more so my check was only $43 but it is money for nothing.  My sister who shops for her three grandchildren and her accounting business buys everything online and gets huge checks.  Basically all you do is go through the Ebates site on your way to Macy's or Home Depot or whatever and you rack up a percentage of what you spend.  Easy peasy.  Yesterday Macy's was going for 6% so if you bought $100 worth of merchandise you would have $6 added to your Ebates account.  This can really add up over time and it truly is money for nothing.

I also want to mention that it looks like Costco and American Express are getting a divorce and it will be final March 2016.  There are negotiations with other cards like Capital One going on.  This will be easier for me because the only place in my little town that accepts Amex is QFC and Chevron.

Remember to be on the lookout for your Costco Rebate Check in your Amex bill.  They say it is for February billing so that must make it the March bill.  I don't know for sure but keep an eye out and don't throw it away like I did once.  EEK!!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

QFC Grocery Basket 2/11

When I first started channeling I mean writing Miss MoneyPenny I was working a full time job with a lot more income than I am living on now.  Now that I'm retired my income is down about a third and I do pretty good.  If I had it to do over, I would have made sure that my mortgage was paid and that was totally doable back in the day when I was spending like a maniac.  But I didn't.  Luckily for me my mortgage is quite low, and as my sister says, pretty cheap rent.

One of the big reasons that I started blogging was because of QFC.  Now, I'm not a big fan of QFC.  I think it is terrible that such a high priced market decided to come to our very working class town.  Granted - we have Port Ludlow on one side and Kala Point on the other but for the most part it really is the rest of us.  We are the retired, homeless, underemployed single moms, and hard working families who struggle to make ends meet.

Since our local market is QFC I searched the web for bloggers that covered the deals.  At that time I couldn't find anybody doing it.  They covered Safeway and Albertson's, but no QFC.  I contacted a couple of them and asked why there was no QFC.  The best answer that I got was that it was too damned expensive.  Okay, but other than QFC we had the baby beginnings of Chimacum Corner Farmstand which was starting to grow from a local Sunday Farmers Market so it was all we had.  So I jumped in.

My mission with Miss MoneyPenny was to search out the best deals on "real food" each week from the ad.  This has not been as easy as you would think because in the three and half years since I started posting, food prices have gone through the roof.  No surprise to anyone who grocery shops, I'm sure.

I now have a four pronged approach to grocery shopping that doesn't just involve QFC and it is pretty cost effective while providing good food and other grocery items.  First - I always check out the QFC ad and circle the deals.  Second - and because I have storage I get as much toilet paper, cleaning products, cereal, almond milk, coffee, etc. kind of stuff at Costco.  I try to time everything with their coupons which really adds to the savings.  Third - I grow a small kitchen garden which provides several different veggies and berries.  And lastly - during the winter months I get a lot of produce from Chimacum Corner Farmstand.

My sister fell in love with this store when she was here last year taking care of me after hip surgery.  Remember she is the one who thinks that a kale salad with a couple of eggs on top is a fine breakfast.  Anyway this is a picture of some of their produce before they expanded.  During our growing season they get their produce from our local growers.  In the winters they try to get it as close as possible and organic.

Okay - so let's look at the ad for this week.  Again, it is a two weeker - meaning that it runs through the 24th.  I want to mention a couple of nonfood items.  Tulips!!  don't they just make you happy??  They do me.  Anyway, they are on for three bunches for $10.  It was not in the ad but I've noticed that they have been offering their beautiful primroses for $1 each which is cheaper that Walmart at $1.38.  I'm gonna take down the Christmas wreath this weekend and plant some by the front door.

Here are my suggestions for this week:

Franz Natural Bread - BOGO
Spice Island Spices - 50% off
Peet's Coffee - $6.99/12oz bag
Kroger Frozen Vegetables - $1/10-12oz
Marie Callendar's Chicken Pot Pies - $1.88/ea
Draper Valley Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts - BOGO
Fresh Wild Dover Sole Fillets - $5.99/lb
Fresh Wild Pacific Cod Fillets - $5.99/lb
Flank Steak - $6.99/lb
Asparagus - $1.77/lb
Driscoll's Strawberries (California?) - $2.50/lb
Eggplant or English Cukes - $1.50/ea
Green Beans or Brussels Sprouts - $1.99/lb
Large Navel Oranges - $ .99/lb
Organic Lady Alice Apples - $1.99/lb

Since I bought Brussels sprouts, carrots with their leafy tops, and beautiful lettuce at the Farmstand I will only be picking up the asparagus and strawberries, if they smell good.  I will also be getting a couple of the spices as I'm almost out of cinnamon and red pepper flakes.  And the cod.  Man, I love the cod.  You do know that QFC in Port Hadlock has one of the best fish markets around??

I want to share with you a yummy recipe that I got from the Barefoot Contessa for Brussels sprouts.
All you do is clean a pound of sprouts and cut them in half.  Add a quarter pound of pancetta, diced.  Toss with olive oil and salt and pepper.  Roast at 400 for 20 to 30 minutes until browned and the pancetta is cooked.  Stir halfway through.  When done, drizzle with a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar.  So crazy delicious that I eat the whole pan.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

QFC Grocery Basket 1/21

Check out the little nubbins coming up in my Autumn Sedum!!  These little babies are the first to show their faces in late winter and the last ones blooming in early winter.  Every flower bed loves to have them in the mix.  They are almost maintenance free except for that "prune in June" thing where you pinch them down a third or so to avoid the floppsies when they bloom.

Changing the subject to Bradley Cooper - if you want to see a movie that will get you going, one way or the other, go see American Sniper.  I'm not a war movie person but I usually enjoy anything that Clint Eastwood does and I'm a big fan of Bradley.  I'm not gonna lie to you.  This is a hard movie to watch but if you are at all curious about what goes on over in the Mideast this might answer some questions.  I also came away with a deeper understanding of our vets...and appreciation.

Okay - moving on to the grocery ad for this week.  A couple of things to mention are the fresh Alaska cod and the asparagus.  Most people prefer the little skinny spears of asparagus but really the fatter ones are much more tender.  When I'm washing the asparagus I take each spear and give it a bend.  It will break where the tender spot is.  The tough ends go out to the compost pile to join the wormies.

The last time that the cod was on sale I bought enough for two meals.  I cut it up and soaked it in beer and then dusted it with Krusteaz Bake "n Fry Mix.  I baked it at 400 until done, turning once as it browned on the bottom.  It was so good with a squeeze of lemon that I ate the whole thing in one sitting.  So much for my plans.

If you have been jonesing for berries as I have, QFC has them on sale for $2.50.  A couple of weeks ago I purchased the blueberries that were on sale and they were just not wonderful.  Once you get used to eating berries out of your backyard, nothing else measures up.  If you are planning on buying the berries give them a good sniff.  Usually if they smell good they will taste good.

Here are my suggestions for this week:

Mission Flour Tortillas - $1.25/10ct
QFC Milk - $ .99/half gal
Kroger Cottage Cheese - $1.50/16 oz
Kroger Sour Cream - $1.50/16oz
Boneless Chuck Roast - $3.99/lb
Boneless Top Sirloin Steak - $6.99/lb
Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast - BOGO
Fresh Alaska Cod Fillets - $7.99/lb
Asparagus - $2.99/lb
Cucumbers - $ .69/ea
Green Bell Peppers - $ .69/ea
Eggplant - $1.50/ea
Jazz Apples - $1.99/lb
Organic Anjou Pears - $1.99/lb
Organic Bunch Carrots or Beets - $2/bunch
Strawberries - $2.50/lb (God only knows where they are from)

You might remember that I mentioned a few weeks ago that my sister eats salad for breakfast with eggs on top.  She sent me this snap the other day of her breakfast.  I'm gonna take the last of the Kale Salad Mix that I told you about last week and cook it up for lunch.  I think that it will be very tasty with a couple of poached eggs and a buttered English muffin.


Miss PeggyRae gave me a gift certificate to Red Robin and Miss MaggieMay and I had lunch there yesterday.  I haven't eaten there since the 80s and I don't know why because that was a seriously good burger.  They also have endless fries.  I thought that the fries were just average.  If you want crazy good fries, the best ever, go to Burgers Landing in Port Hadlock.  They also have a good old fashioned burger that is pretty good and a very good price.